Venezuela's poverty decline regarded as fragile
Experts assert that reported drop in poverty relies on oil income
To some experts, social investment is not the point at issue. What really matters is that oil revenues seem not to be utilized as appropriate.
"Distributing oil revenues in a way that citizens can make use of could result in temporary well-being, yet in the event that such income plummets, so will the current well-being we have enjoyed," says Henke García, director of consultancy firm Econométrica.
Without taking social support aside, García remarks, it is necessary to use oil resources for the development of infrastructure, education, health, and public utilities. Such an investment not only meets people's basic needs, but also leads to sustainable well-being.
Based on the Population and Housing Census 2011, Venezuela's critical poverty accounted for 6.97% in 2011 versus 11.36% in 2001. Non-critical poverty slipped from 21.64% in 2001 to 17.60% in 2011.
Economist Ronald Balza trusts the official results, yet he warns that the drop in poverty is associated with the oil boom, therefore "it could be fragile."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.